What comes up for your when you hear the word commitment? Most people think of commitment in terms of relationship. We make a commitment to be in partnership with a person. We also make commitments to ourselves. We can be committed to our work, our personal growth, our weekend plans, our pets, kids or partners. Making and keeping commitments is an integral part of being in right relationship with ourselves and each other. Sometimes it is hard work.
But for some people, committing to a course of action or another person moves beyond hard and becomes outright scary. Perhaps you have experienced this yourself or been close to someone that has this issue.
For anyone that is unfamiliar with the common mental health issue involving a fear of commitment, it is a self-destructive behavioral pattern that inhibits a person from forming healthy social bonds due to a wide variety of hardwired fears. A person that lives their entire life trapped in perpetual fear of commitment is a person that is on course to rob themselves of the best that life has to offer.
End the Lies
Ultimately, at the end of the day, fear of commitment is a person lying to themselves. Oftentimes, a person with a fear of commitment will have a moment of clarity where they realize that they actually want to commit to something, but internal lies are preventing them from moving forward. From that moment, many people will come out of their shell and try commitment for the first time.
Elevate Your Self-Esteem in Other Ways
Many people with a fear of commitment might seek out shallow interpersonal connections, like brief flings with people they hardly know. This is often done as a means of boosting a person’s self-esteem in light of their fear of commitment, but it typically has a rebound effect that can cause self-esteem to plummet once the meaninglessness of it all is realized.
Fake Happiness Until it is Real
People that fear commitment can feel lonely and unhappy at times. In most cases, becoming a happier person can build one’s self-esteem enough that they are willing to risk a committed relationship. Studies have shown that fake smiles, laughter, and even fake happiness will eventually turn into a real manifestation of those feelings, as the brain will strengthen the neural pathways responsible for mental positivity.
Exercise and Eat Right
Fit, healthy, and powerful people are not typically sitting around dwelling in fear. Fear of commitment is a sad state of affairs that most healthy people seek to avoid. If you or someone you love has this fear, a solution can be to set aside some time to get healthy and fit which will, in turn, build up self-esteem and help refute any irrational fears.
One of the easiest yet scariest things a person can do is take a leap of faith. In other words, instead of fearing loss or betrayal, dive into a committed relationship and don’t overthink it. Taking a leap of faith is admitting that no one has all of the answers and allowing what will be, to be.
While many of these strategies may seem hard to do at first, getting past your fear is essential for a healthy life so it’s worth making the effort to challenge yourself to grow in your ability to commit to yourself as well as others.
To learn more about Tj Bartel and how he helps men and couples create more harmonious, deeply intimate relationships, visit his coaching website.